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VK4TMZ Australia flag Australia

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A bloody long time coming... After 25 years of SWL'ing and sitting on the side and logging / spotting Amateur Radio activity, 2017 for me has been the year of the "Radio".  I first got my Foundation call VK4FMAX Feb 10th 2017, then 5 months later and almost to the day I got my Advanced Call VK4TMZ on 11th July 2017.  

I'd like to give a massive shout out and thanks to both Steven Howarth VK4SJH and Geoff Coffery VK4CGW for their tuition, guidance and time each week for the last 3 and bit months. Also best wishes to my study partner and fellow student Jason O'Connor VK4PPM hope to work you down the log mate.

I'm a member of the Redcliffe & Districts Radio Club and these guys and gals are a great bunch and have make me feel very welcome and part of the family. The best memory to date was helping to setup and operate John Moyle Field Day and using the club call VK4IZ (Vee Kay Four India Zulu)  and being shown the contesting on air procedures and logging by Dr Kevin Johnston VK4UH (ohh btw thanks very much Kevin for the guidance). After the first couple of nervous contacts logged I was on fire!! and have never looked back. I try to participate in all contests, and I've just been notified that I won the 2017 VK Shires Foundation award!!! so I'm totally stoked :)

If you are a SWL'er or other radio / electronic enthusiast and looking to transition from RX to TX ?  then please DO NOT WAIT 25 years like I did!!  Get in contact with your local radio club, and get yourself on the next Foundation Course. The foundation course is an easy 2 day course. Usually the 1st  day is some theory and the 2nd being practical  (putting station together and on air procedures). Its not hard, and you too can then be on the air.

If we come across each other round traps then I'm sure its been my absolute pleasure to have made the QSO.

PS - I always upload my QSO data for eQSL, LoTW and QRZ, so please help cofirm QSO via one or all of these!!

VK4TMZ (Mark)  



  • Yaesu FT-991A
  • MFJ-949E - Antenna Tuner
  • MFJ-1026 - Noise Cancelling Signal Enhancer - Phase out the neighbour Plasma TV.  - Holy smokes it works!!!
    • Zig-Zag Dipole tacked on the fence vertically - used as a noise sense antenna with MFJ-1026
  • Current Antenna(s):
    • 10m Vertical for 40m - 10m - working quite well
    • 10m Vertical for 160/80m (still in testing)
  • Retired Antenna(s):
    • 40m Delta Loop corner feed (Info: ~60ft base, 45ft diagonal arms, apex 36ft up and each corner 6ft from Ground) - It just works!! and beside a little height requirement, fairly low real-estate required, down along the side of the house.)

Plasma TV RFI

Those who have or still do suffer from rfi from these pesky buggers, know that there is at min a s9 plus motor boat noise / signal every ~190 khz. Depending on the band, as you tune between these signals you may just a slight increase in noise floor, or noise floor is significantly affected and drives you crazy.  Having seens that many operators were having success with MFJ-1026 I purchased one and well, it works - plain and simple.

Howeverrrr!!! Couple a pointers

  • Your sense antenna, needs to receive the same signal at the same level as the main (the MFJ-1026's aux preamp helps).  If not, you will be reducing you main antenna signal down to match that of the sense antena  to get effective phasing, so your desired signal will have less points on the s-meter.
  • You may need to readjust the phase for as you approach these different sigs from the Plasma that appear every ~190khz. For me on 40m I had a strong @ 6982 khz for S9+20, and the next one @ 7171 khz which was S9.  When I phased using @ 6982 khz if would pretty much have the band clear and no real need to change, but I still get an S4 @ 7171 khz but it was bearable, but if there is a weakish signal in there, I'd adjust.
  • Will ammend as I continue playing round with the MFJ.

BTW I've got a great neighbour :) other than his dang 51" Plasma.


Parks N Peaks (SOTA)

When I first heard a station activating a national park, it piqued my interest immediately!! I keep one eye on up coming events on the ParkNPeaks Alerts page and I try to support them by hunting them out and making a QSO :)  My hat is off to these guys and gals who head out in all sorts of lovely Australia weather to activate many Parks and Peaks and them for just getting out there and doing it....  I need to get myself setup as portal and become one of the hunted :)

Awards and Special QSLs


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8575388 Last modified: 2018-01-12 07:42:36, 7055 bytes

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